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The right way of "Focusing " on bodily sensations

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by UnknownStuntman, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

    of course spreche ich Deutsch, hopefully better than English :D! Nice to meet another countryman in the TMS-world, sent you an email!
  2. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

  3. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I have had a good deal of good results with this method also. Peter Levine's work changed my life. I am currently having a bad bout with my hip/back/sciatic pain after being pain free for about 7 months. However, without the pain, I had other symptoms like increased anxiety, sleeplessness and worse hypochondria. I have recently gone through some very difficult dental work that caused me a lot of anxiety, so I am not surprised that the pain came back. However, I am noticing something really interesting. At first, I was inclined to have worry and fear around the pain, we can all find reasons why the pain might be "real" this time. I got through that by moving toward the pain, not fighting it. Then I realized how truly comforting the pain really is. At night when I have trouble falling asleep, I just sink into the pain and it lulls me to sleep. The pain prevents my mind from beating me up, being over-critical, being a slave-driver, producing terror. The pain is greater than my abusive mind. It is my body's way of fighting back, how my body protects itself. The pain demands that my body gets treated well and there is nothing that my abusive, critical, manic mind can do about it. So I need to rest and I will - all because of the pain. Hopefully, some day I won't have to chose between pain and and a slave-driving mind. Wish me luck. I am really seeing things in a new light. For the first time, thanks to the pain, I am beginning to see what is really going on.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

    Chickenbone, very interesting and fascinating insights, thanks for sharing! Even though I did not have that experience because I am still in pain I can totally relate to this and wouln't wonder if it was the same in my case. Pain can really have a very protective function. My somatic experiencing therapist once told me that she considered it as possible that I could "go insane" if one suddenly took all of my pain away.
    So I really wish you luck and please tell us more about your further experiences!
  5. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Thank-you Birdie. You know, I have always had a vague sense that my conscious mind was often my own worst enemy and it was doing damage to my body. Through somatic experiencing, I have come to see that my fear of the pain was misplaced. The thing I really needed to fear was the cause of the pain, my slave-driving mind. The pain comes to save me from this, if I am unwilling to save myself. I have nothing to fear from the pain. It will be there as long as my body needs to protect itself.

    Your somatic experiencing therapist is exactly right. I know that I maybe would go insane without the pain. You are lucky to have her. Last January, I used all my resources to make the pain go away and it did. But I was not happy about that because I paid for it with crippling anxiety and sleeplessness to the point where I missed the comfort of the pain. I was simply not ready for all of my pain to go away permanently and I think I knew it. I am hoping that, going forward, the pain episodes will become less and less as my mind realizes and accepts that it cannot beat me up like that. I hope to reach some sort of wholeness.
  6. UnknownStuntman

    UnknownStuntman Peer Supporter

    Chickenbone, I recently had a similar experience with tooth pain. I suddenly felt tremendous pain in my jaw and decided to accept the pain and believe in my body's ability to heal itself. After a couple of weeks the pain disappeared. It was a good experience to just have the pain without too much mental tension and fear about it. I think there's a Buddha quote which I love (Levine mentions it also, these are my words, not a quote, because I didn't find it:)

    When a person gets shot with an arrow, he right away shoots a second arrow at himself (fear, anger, panic about the first arrow). It's just that it is not necessary, being shot once with an arrow, to shoot ourselves again.

    The somatic approach isn't new, just rediscovered. Wilhelm Reich from Austria successfully worked with it in the 1920s, after he split with Freud (he worked on patients that didn't respond to analyses, he pretty much did, what Levine does today, his patients also started shaking etc.). After that he tried to prove that there's a life energy in our body, which, once it's blocked, produces mental and physical illness. Bodypsychotherapy unblocks these blocks. In Asia it's called Qi-energy. Since there's no proof of it in western science, he was considered highly controversial. He also stated, that cancer comes from mental/energy blockages, that hurt the cells. He saw under a microscope, that red blood cells of a mentally healthy person (with little body tension/armour) looked much better than the ones of people with a lot of tension in the musles. He could diagnose their tension level just by looking at cells under the microscope. I think he was a genious. Of course in Asian culture none of this is new, since they believe in Qi, acupuncture etc. Reich called this energy Orgon energy.

    Reichs work is fascinating and was groundbreaking in regard to body armour, somatic symptoms, energy blockages in the body that block well being and block the bodies ability to harmonize and heal itself. He usually worked with the patients tension in the muscles of the upper head/eyes first and worked himself downwards through the whole body, often amazing and powerful changes happened in the body and mind. He describes this in his book "Character Analyses":


  7. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    That is great US. I am so happy to hear that you were so successful with the pain. I am also experiencing much less fear and discomfort with relapses since I have been doing somatic experiencing.

    Thanks for the information and the link. This is really fascinating.
  8. UnknownStuntman

    UnknownStuntman Peer Supporter

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